With Bulshar gone and the curse broken, it would have to be sooner rather than later that Wynonna Earp introduced the villain for this season. Introduce their new villain they did and its everything one could hope for. The first two episodes work together to wrap up the cliffhanger from last season while ushering in the new season and its new complications.
Picking up right where we left off, in the garden, Nicole isn’t as happy to see Doc once she realises she’s in her birthday suit. Doc offers his coat, but there’s an invisible wall between them, stopping anything from getting in or Nicole getting out. Doc gets Waverly, whose time in the garden is affecting her more and more. She talks about the garden being hers to protect, just as her father did. Until Doc mentions Nicole and Waverly’s focus switches to her.
After Nicole’s sacrifice, Wynonna and Rachel are forced to retreat from the horde. Sneaking away from the zombie scientists, Wynonna and Rachel are short options but Rachel has no intentions to leave without knowing her mother’s fate and Wynonna isn’t going to about to leave her Haught cop behind.
Waverly and Nicole’s garden reunion is a little soured by the fact that Nicole’s behind a barrier. It’s made very sour when we see Nicole’s still at Black Badge, hurt from the fall and trapped with a zombie. If she’s still on earth, who’s with Doc and Waverly?
Wynonna and Rachel gear up in hazmat suits and masks to explore further into the facility. Getting to the lab means swiping the key cards they need to open the door and trying not to awaken the horde again. Small issue. Wynonna’s mask has a leak in it, making her delirious with hypoxia.
Not-Nicole, who’s dressed herself in flowers, is getting more desperate to be let out. The blood alarm goes off again and Doc volunteers himself this time, running back to the bunker. While’s he’s gone, Not-Nicole has some pretty critical opinions about things. Doc’s reasons behind becoming a vampire. Bulshar’s motivation to get into the garden. And even has something to say about the big-G abandoning the garden. Waverly isn’t comfortable with all the god talk and looks like she might be questioning if this is her Nicole.
Meanwhile, her Nicole is in a much worse spot, with a zombie crawling towards her. It would be remiss of me to not mention Nicole’s fantasy scenario of her dying involved Waverly in Sara Lance cosplay. Luckily for her, and that fantasy, Wynonna gets into the lab just in time. Rachel confirms Nicole has a broken leg. Before Wynonna and Nicole’s reunion can get too heartfelt, Rachel discovers her mother’s body. At the portal for the garden. For Rachel, if her mother was willing to give her life to keep the portal closed, she’s willing to do anything to stop someone from opening it.
At the blood podium, a new door opens allowing Doc to see a strange sculpture with Nicole’s visage on one side and something else on the other. He realizes this ‘prison’ isn’t for them but for whatever is pretending to be Nicole. Without new blood the barrier around Not-Nicole breaks, setting her free.
Waverly realizes this isn’t her Nicole when they kiss and if she had any doubts, Doc’s shouting to get away moments later confirms it. Not-Nicole introduces herself as Eve. Yes, that Eve. Doc punches her off Waverly, but she transforms into Jeremy, taunting him to pick a side, angel or demon. He answers by stabbing Eve with the giant shears the scientist used to decapitate himself. In a low blow, Eve transforms into Wynonna. The garden’s effect on Waverly takes over again, compelling her to sit on her father’s throne. She knocks Doc out when he tries to stop her.
Wynonna and Nicole convince Rachel they need to get into the garden, and there’s nothing that will stop them. Using the key cards, they open the portal, but Nicole’s leg has benched her for the rest of this adventure. Wynonna isn’t ready to do this without her, but Nicole reminds her she’s the only one who can. Leaving Nicole with Rachel, she goes through the portal, Nicole tossing in Julien’s ring after her.
In the garden, Wynonna sees herself, the Eve-Wynonna still stabbed through the abdomen. Hearing Doc call for Waverly she knows she’s in the right place. Waverly takes her place on the throne, Eve becoming rooted to the spot when she does.
Back at BBD, Rachel is worried about the zombie horde breaking down the door. Nicole keeps her calm by asking about her family. Her ancestry goes back to the Mayans and a family myth of a warrior princess who earned a kingdom and immortality for her victories in war. With the zombies about to break down the door, Nicole gets ready to go down swinging. Or go down beaver blasting to be more accurate.
Wynonna finds Doc, who attacks her thinking she’s Eve. She does everything she can to convince him its really her, trying to appeal to him with Alice. But it’s not until she says their safe word (its Dollywood), that he believes it’s her. Their reunion is cut short by the ever-continuing crisis that is their lives. Wynonna goes after her sister while Doc deals with Eve. Eve transforms into Jeremy again, but Doc isn’t going to hesitate because of this trick. He kicks Eve through a doorway, knocking her out of the garden.
Wynonna finds Waverly on the throne, talking about heirs, destiny, and the bull Wynonna was done with two seasons ago. Wynonna knows what being an heir means. She knows their life is more than what destiny has in store for them. They beat the Earp curse and now they get to live the rest of their lives. Waverly may be an angel, but she’s Wynonna’s sister first. She’s the woman Nicole loves and who loves Nicole. And Wynonna isn’t about to lose her sister to another destiny when she fought so hard against one already.
Using Julien’s ring to get her off the throne, they escape the garden back to Purgatory, although they wake up in different places. Wynonna by the stairs, Doc near the well (with the satchel Waverly had the book from last episode in) and Waverly by the homestead.
Waverly gets a true Earp Homestead welcome, getting shot at before Nicole realises who it is. Then, in an excellent use of its later timeslot, Wynonna Earp gives us an amazing reunion for Waverly and Nicole. But even as the depth of their love comes through, there’s something that feels amiss. Nicole’s leg is fine. Her hair is longer. When she talks about how much she missed Waverly there’s more weight than just the fear of losing her in the garden behind her words.
Wynonna and Doc reunite in town, finding bodies hanging. As they realize things have changed dramatically, Nicole tells Waverly what we must have suspected. Their time in the garden wasn’t the short trip it felt like. They’ve been gone 18 months, 3 weeks, and 4 days.
If last episode re-established everything that makes Wynonna Earp great, ‘Friends in Low Place’ elevates those elements.
Let’s talk about that scene. Sex scenes between queer women are a woeful gap in representation. Sex scenes of that calibre? Almost unheard of. Soft, romantic, a little sad, and hot as hell. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve seen two queer women share a scene like that and have them be the sole focus. Did I mention the hot as hell part? Wynonna Earp has been milking its later timeslot for all its worth. The number of f-bombs last week and now this. This romance has been one of the strongest aspects of the show since Officer Haught first walked into Shorty’s. Even four seasons in its still being developed and given great scenes like this.
While we’re on the topic of Nicole, let’s talk about her other great love of the series, her and Wynonna. Wynonna’s cavalier, fly by the seat of her pants attitude in contrast to Nicole’s more straight-laced personality has always brought a fun dynamic to their interactions. Be it Wynonna helping Nicole learn when it’s best to run in all canons blazing or when Nicole’s reining in Wynonna before she can do too much damage. They’ve grown from comrades in arms to ‘best friends’. Their constant bickering comes as much from their different personalities as it does from the love between them. Nicole was right when she said Wynonna had to be one to save Waverly, but Nicole was the only one who could convince Wynonna to walk through that portal alone.
The love between women, the depths of their bonds and the strength they draw from it, has always been at the heart of this show. So naturally, Wynonna and Waverly’s scene at the throne was one of the most powerful moments between the sisters in the series. I love that once again, its fate that’s trying to screw these sisters over and once again they tell it they aren’t going to play by its rules.
The time skip twist was a great beat to end on with the first two episodes having a solid arc to open the new season. Eve being this season’s big bad is so wonderfully Wynonna Earp, and even though she was portrayed by three different actors here (kudos to them all in their portrayal) there’s already a strong impression of her menace. It will be interesting to see how much of a head start she’s had on earth.
Best of Earpisms
- Sara Lance, Xena, and Orphan Black references in the same episode? Wynonna Earp certainly knows its target audience.
- Wynonna loopy on hypoxia was a delight.
- As was the barrage of sex jokes. (Another thank you to the later timeslot.)
- Rachel’s family history is almost certainly going to come up again at some point.
- “There is so much useless pop culture knowledge in this thing,” “It is not useless, it shows he has passion.”
Images courtesy of Syfy